Lets compare Labour, National and NZ First’s policies on water

by SB on August 22, 2017 at 5:00pm

Royalties for the Regions: New Zealand First want to charge foreign-owned companies a royalty for exporting bottled water from New Zealand. At least 25% of that royalty would go back to the region the water came from for infrastructure and regional economic development.(cost of royalty unknown)

They would limit resource consents for commercial uses of water to sustainable uses.

They propose to reform the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management.

Principles would include :

  • That water is a common good
  • That the Treaty of Waitangi doesn’t give Maori special rights to take or use water
  • That the requirements for domestic supply of water must prevail over all other takes and uses.
  • Maori would be consulted but New Zealand First opposes specific Maori ownership rights over freshwater.

They would prevent the transfer of water consents when the original reason for granting the consent ceases

They would clean up urban waterways (cost unknown)

They would remove the requirement to consult iwi from the Resource Management Act


National would continue to fund projects that improve freshwater management. The money would come from a $100 million Freshwater Improvement Fund set up this year for use over the next decade.

National would continue to aim for 90% of lakes and rivers to be swimmable by 2040.To achieve this goal, they have amended the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management. National estimates achieving this goal will cost $2 billion over the next 23 years.

National would continue to require farmers to keep livestock out of waterways. Since July 2017 farmers have been required to exclude dairy cattle and pigs from most waterways. The requirements will be fully implemented in 2030. National expects this policy to cost farmers $367 million. 

National would continue to fund private sector regional irrigation projects. Around $90 million would be spent over the next three years, with an estimated total of $400 million to be invested over time.

Labour will increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (cost unknown)

Labour will work with iwi to resolve Treaty water claims. (cost unknown)

Labour will charge a royalty for large-scale use of commercial water (cost of royalty unknown)

**Councils will be exempt from the royalty payment.

The royalty for bottled water would be on a per litre basis, and the royalty for irrigation per 1000 litres. Revenue from the royalties would mainly go to regional councils, and might be used for the cost of keeping water clean.

Labour will make all lakes and rivers to a swimmable state within a generation

Labour would strengthen water quality regulations by changing the National Policy Statement.

The new statement would set strong standards for dissolved oxygen, pathogens, slime and macroinvertebrate health, and would require resource consents for activities which harm waterways. Within five years, all intensively stocked land near waterways would need to be fenced, and planting along river banks will be required. (cost unknown)

This article is just for the top three parties but one Cuckoo Green policy is worth a mention…

The Green Party propose to BAN new Dairy farms to help keep our waterways clean. I guess the demand for increased milk production thanks to the thousands of extra refugees and immigrants they want to bring in will just have to go unfulfilled. Let them drink water instead!